Cheltenham must find a new sponsor for the Gold Cup from 2022 after Magners declined an option to extend their support beyond next year.
Irish cider company Magners have sponsored the Cheltenham Festival and jump racing’s showpiece event since 2019, when they also became the meeting’s official partner – with a rebranded title of ‘The Festival, presented by Magners’.
The three-year deal included an option to extend for a further 12 months, but Cheltenham has announced that will not happen.
A spokesman for the racecourse said: “Magners and Cheltenham entered into a partnership in 2018 which saw Magners secure the presenting partner and sponsorship rights for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Cheltenham Festival and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
“Magners also had an option to extend these rights to 2022, which they will not be taking up. We understand and appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic has implications for all businesses and sporting events.”
The financial impact of the coronavirus crisis has been especially severe on the hospitality sector during Government lockdown restrictions imposed on outlets throughout Britain.
Cheltenham, owned by Jockey Club Racecourses, also recently lost RSA’s longstanding sponsorship of the Festival’s Grade 1 three-mile novice chase and that of the Racing Post for the two-mile novice championship chase, the Arkle Challenge Trophy.
Sporting Life has since stepped in to back the Arkle from next March.